Tag Archive for 'Ditch Witch'

Making The Grade: Tracking On-Grade Bores

By Karly Rupp

Two 300-foot bores, 17 feet down, through 44,000 psi of basalt. All at a .75 percent grade. It’s just another day’s work for Logan Kallwick and his crews.

“That job was a tough one,” said Kallwick, field supervisor for Downing Diversified in Kalama, Washington. “But those are the kind of jobs we’re known for. We have a reputation in the Portland area for going after grade bores and doing them right.”

Using a Ditch Witch® JT40, Kallwick’s team installed 600 feet of 14-inch HDP pipe in the tough basalt terrain of St. Helen’s, Oregon. They maintained less than two feet of fall in each of the two 300-foot bores. That kind of precision drilling doesn’t just happen—it’s earned.

“You have to be thorough,” Kallwick said. “It’s not a typical bore where you’re just shooting from point A to point B. You’ll usually see guys go six, eight, 10 feet at a time between checks and locates. But when we were piloting that bore, I was checking every two to three inches to make sure we were sitting on grade and making corrections every bit of the way.”

Of course, that kind of intensity takes time. That’s why grade bores typically take longer than usual. The key, Kallwick says, is to make sure that extra time is spent moving forward, not idle. 

For example, the company uses walkover tracking rather than relying on both a front and a back locate, which could translate into two or three time-consuming locates per check. In walkover mode, the Subsite® Electronics TK RECON™ system they use provides immediate locates directly over the head, instantly feeding that information to a Subsite display on the drill. Rather than waiting for a locator to take readings 30 feet in front of the head or 20 feet behind it to get direction and depth data, the drill operator gets accurate information quickly, right at the drill seat, so he can make adjustments and keep making forward progress.

“We’ve tried other systems, but Subsite is the locator we rely on,” said Kallwick. “We’re doing these bores where we’ve got to have three quarters of an inch precision with just .75 percent deviation … and we’re 17 feet deep in some of the hardest material you can find … and we’re still able to track the head quickly and accurately and complete these jobs successfully. I have immediate information at my fingertips so I can sit on the drill and interpret depths and percentages constantly as we’re moving. I can continue to progress forward instead of waiting around for that information to relay and then having to take my time to move forward. Without it, you could take three or four times longer to do something like this.”

Kallwick also pointed out a time-saving benefit when it comes to vibration.

“We started shooting one of these grade bores—a 1.2 percent—using a different locating system. But with all the vibration, our pitches were jumping from a plus seven percent down to a minus four percent. We would have to stop to get a reading in the middle. But the TK RECON system seems to buffer the percentages and give us a consistent reading as we move along. It’ll go up and down a little bit, but that’s what the head is actually doing so we’ll make adjustments. It saves a ton of time.”

Combined with maximum productivity from a fleet of Ditch Witch directional drills and the skillful expertise that comes from decades of experience, the company’s reliance on accurate walkover locating and seamless data transmission to a display on the drill has enabled them to trim time off difficult grade bores. The St. Helen’s job, for example, went quicker than you might think. Chipping away at the volcanic rock was so difficult, the pit itself took the general contractor more than two weeks to dig. Even so, the entire job was completed in just 21 days. 

From storm systems and gravity sewer lines to a 1,100-foot shot with a six-inch pipe for jet fuel at the Portland International Airport, Downing Diversified has tackled all kinds of tough grade bores. Each job has its unique challenges, but Kallwick has the same advice for any grade bores.

“We’ve made a name for ourselves doing one percent and sub one percent grade bores. That’s only one inch of vertical play up and down every 10 linear feet that we move forward. It’s a very tight tolerance. So, you must have the patience to check and double-check and be very precise. If you have that, then it comes down to using the right equipment and making sure it is calibrated and operating properly. For locating, that means using something accurate and reliable enough for direct walkover locates in deep, difficult conditions. It’s vital that your locator is walking and standing right over that head, so you know exactly where it is at that time.”

As municipalities, general contractors and others continue to recognize the benefits of directional drilling for grade projects, more of these opportunities are becoming available. When bidding and planning for these jobs, it’s important to know that boring on grade at tight tolerances and for long distances is not only possible with walkover locating, it’s preferred. You’ll be more productive and more successful which, ultimately, is good for the industry as a whole.

About Downing Diversified

The Downing Diversified team has over 30 years’ experience in the HDD industry. Jimmy Downing began gaining his extensive knowledge and love of drilling in 1989 when his father purchased the first model drill manufactured by Ditch Witch (one of the first mini rigs to come to the Pacific Northwest). In 2012, he founded his own company, Downing Diversified. The company’s specialized equipment and turn-key capabilities have made them a leader in residential, municipal, industrial or commercial installations. For more information, visit downingdiversified.com.

About Subsite® Electronics

Subsite® Electronics, a Charles Machine Works Company, is committed to providing underground construction professionals the most comprehensive suite of electronic products in the industry, including utility locators, Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) guidance equipment, utility inspection systems, and equipment machine controls. By using innovative technologies, extensive market feedback and outstanding customer support, Subsite has established itself as the premier source of electronic technology to support the installation, maintenance and inspection of underground pipe and cable. For more information, visit subsite.com.

The Toro Company to Acquire The Charles Machine Works, Inc. 

The Toro Company to Acquire The Charles Machine Works, Inc. 

Parent Company of a Strong Portfolio of Underground Construction Brands 

Including Market-Leading Ditch Witch 

The Toro Company (NYSE: TTC) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately-held The Charles Machine Works, Inc., an Oklahoma corporation and the parent company of Ditch Witch and several other leading brands in the underground construction market, for $700 million in cash subject to certain adjustments set forth in the definitive agreement. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions and is currently anticipated to close before the end of Toro’s fiscal 2019 third quarter. More detailed information regarding the transaction is included in an investor presentation available at www.thetorocompany.com.

Headquartered in Perry, Oklahoma, Charles Machine Works designs, manufactures and sells a range of products to cover the full life-cycle of underground pipe and cable, including horizontal directional drills, walk and ride trenchers, utility loaders, vacuum excavators, asset locators, pipe rehabilitation solutions and after-market tools. The company, known as “The Underground Authority” for their deep understanding of the structures and systems in those markets, and the most important needs of underground construction professionals, generated calendar year 2018 revenues of approximately $725 million.

“The addition of Charles Machine Works will further strengthen our portfolio of market-leading brands supported by talented employees, a commitment to innovation, a best-in-class dealer network and long-standing customer relationships,” said Richard M. Olson, Toro’s chairman and chief executive officer. “As an organization, Charles Machine Works aligns well with and will contribute to our own strategic priorities of profitable growth, operational excellence and empowering people. The company expands our business in a meaningful way in an adjacent category we know well through our own specialty construction business and in a market that is attractive given the potential for growth in addressing both aging infrastructure that is currently in place and new infrastructure that will be needed to support next-generation technologies like 5G.” 

“Culturally, our two organizations are very well aligned and, in our past experience, that has been essential to the success of a business combination like this. We share similar people values, performance expectations, business models focused on innovation, brand and channel, and strong community ties. With its rich multigenerational family legacy, commitment to its employees and market leadership position, we have respected and admired Charles Machine Works for a long time. We were excited when joining forces became a possibility, and we know that both companies will be stronger together.”

“Our success is the result of years of hard work and an unwavering commitment to developing innovative solutions for customers,” said Rick Johnson, Charles Machine Works chief executive officer. “From developing the world’s first service line trencher in Perry, Oklahoma, to today’s robust Ditch Witch dealer network, our family of companies is well-positioned to join The Toro Company’s family of brands. We look forward to building upon our founder’s legacy of best-in-class offerings in the expanding underground construction market.”

Toro expects to finance the transaction with a combination of cash on hand and debt, including from additional financing arrangements and borrowings under its existing credit facility. The all-cash purchase price of $700 million represents a multiple of approximately eight times Charles Machine Works’ calendar year 2018 EBITDA, including $30 million of anticipated annual run-rate cost synergies phased in over three years, that Toro intends to achieve through opportunities in purchasing, manufacturing best practices and administrative efficiencies. Toro expects the transaction to be immediately accretive to EPS excluding purchase accounting adjustments and transaction related expenses.

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC acted as financial advisor to Toro and Fox Rothschild LLP and Latham & Watkins, LLP acted as Toro’s legal counsel. Bank of America Merrill Lynch and J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. have provided committed debt financing to Toro for the transaction. McAfee & Taft A Professional Corporation, acted as Charles Machine Works’ legal counsel.

 

CONEXPO Products from: Ditch Witch, Doosan Portable Power, Hilti, Hyundai, KCM, Komatsu, Liebherr, Tadano

Ed Malzahn Ditch Witch founder, industry leader, innovator and inventor died December 11, at the age of 94.

 

Ditch Witch inventor and industry developer Gus Edwin “Ed” George Malzahn died Friday. He was 94.

 Ed Malzahn

Ed Malzahn

The first commercial Ditch Witch product was introduced in 1949. It was the first mechanized, compact, service-line trencher developed for laying underground water lines between the street main and the house. The Ditch Witch trencher solved an age-old problem for the utility contractors of its day.

With the growing popularity of the Malzahns’ trencher, Charlie’s Machine Shop became The Charles Machine Works, Inc., which still maintains its headquarters in Perry, Oklahoma, a town of about 5,000 residents in the north-central part of the state. In addition to trenchers, the company today designs and manufactures a wide variety of underground construction equipment bearing the Ditch Witch name.

Tiffany Sewell-Howard, Ed Malzahn

Tiffany Sewell-Howard, Ed Malzahn

Tiffany Sewell-Howard, Ed Malzahn’s granddaughter, became CEO of The Charles Machine Works, Inc., in 2005. Now in his 90s, founder Ed Malzahn still serves as company president and chairman of the board.

The Perry, Oklahoma, headquarters of the Ditch Witch organization is on an expansive campus that contains the company’s 30-acre (120,000 m2) manufacturing plant and training, testing, research and product development facilities. Ditch Witch worldwide headquarters employs more than 1300 people.

The Ditch Witch compact trencher has twice been named “one of the 100 best American-made products in the world” by Fortune magazine. In 2002, the DWP was designated a historical mechanical engineering landmark by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Malzahn is survived by his three children, nine grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

Related:

The Oaklahoman http://newsok.com/article/5466810

Ditch Witch Memorial Guest Book

http://edmalzahn.com/guestbook

http://www.ditchwitch.com

AEM Hall of Fame 

https://www.aem.org/HallOfFame/HallOfFamers/Bio/?I=38

Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ditch_Witch

New Equipment From Dynapac, CAT, Ditch Witch, I-Rock, Hitachi, IMT, Doosan and John Deere

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